The new director of the Secret Service, Randolph Alles, set out his plan to increase the agency’s ranks by more than 3,000 within the next few years. Speaking last Thursday, June 1 to reporters at his first press briefing since being appointed, Alles said that to hit this goal, the Secret Service is relaxing its policy for potential hires.
Alles went on to report that currently, the Secret Service has a force of “very dedicated” agents but they will soon not be able to sustain the level of round-the-clock protective coverage currently required, leading to this drive to increase the number of agents.
“We need more people. The mission has changed,” Alles said, referring to the fact that overtime requests for officers are at an all-time high. An ever-present terror threat from groups like domestic groups like al Qaeda and ISIS is also another reason to get new agents. It is more dynamic and way more dangerous than it has been in years past,” Alles said.
New Policy Implications
Officials have said that the change to the drug policy, which went into effect just this May 2017, has many implications. The Secret Service is now following a “whole-person concept” in hiring – potentially allowing candidates who admit to using something in the past while taking into consideration the time between their last use and their application to the agency. It is not clear though if there are specific rules as to agency candidates who have gone into rehabilitation for marijuana and/or drug use.
This new policy recognizes that this thing use is more commonplace in today’s society and will also allow younger applicants entry to the hiring process, many of whom experimented with the drug as teenagers. It is s also a policy shift that puts the Secret Service in line with other federal law enforcement agencies – who have already allowed candidates with past drug use to continue their application.
The entire hiring process, however, remains strict, especially since it could position you within feet of a head of state or other VIPs. A polygraph test is still part of the procedure as are strict credit checks and vision exams.
Despite the differences in President Trump’s secret service needs for his (larger) immediate family and his traveling requirements versus that of Pres. Obama.
What has remained the same are the number of things made against the President. “Daily, six to eight things come into Secret Service against this person — an average range that’s remained steady for the past 10 years”, Alles said.